Siriwardene leads SL to hard-fought win
Sri Lanka Women 170 for 8 (Siriwardene 43, Silva 37, Fletcher 2-30) beat West Indies Women 169 for 9 (Taylor 33, Kaushalya 2-20, Alwis 2-20, Siriwardene 2-28) by two wickets
Sri Lanka Women held their nerve to beat West Indies by two wickets, and level the series 1-1, in their second ODI in Dambulla. Shashikala Siriwardene, the captain, took two wickets and top scored with 43 as Sri Lanka reached the target with four balls to spare.
Siriwardene was the eighth wicket to fall with the score on 152. Sri Lanka, however, edged home, thanks to the ninth-wicket pair of Suwini de Alwis and Dilani Manodara.
West Indies, after put in to bat, squandered a good start to lose six wickets for 42 runs in 12.1 overs to reach a disappointing 169 for 9. Opener Stefanie Taylor, who made 33, added 62 for the first wicket with Merissa Aguilleira at a rate of above five an over. But Eshani Kaushalya, the right-arm medium bowler, dismissed the openers in successive overs to put the brakes on the West Indian scoring. The visitors never recovered from those two blows, as no subsequent partnership exceeded 25 runs. The Sri Lankans kept taking wickets at regular intervals, with four of their bowlers, including Siriwardene and de Alwis, bagging two wickets each. Sripali Weerakkody was their most economical bowler, with figures of 2 for 25 off ten overs.
In response, the Sri Lankan batsmen too struggled to build partnerships, the highest being the 29-run stand for the fifth wicket between Siriwardene and Kaushalya. Dedunu Silva made 37 but she fell with the score on 62, and when Sri Lanka lost their fourth wicket 25 runs later, West Indies may have felt they were in with a chance. After Kaushalya was bowled by Taylor for 16, Siriwardene added a further 26 with Chandi Wickramasinghe, and at 142 for 5, Sri Lanka seemed to have pulled things back. However, the game continued to fluctuate as the home team then lost three wickets for ten runs before de Alwis and Manodara took them home.
The two teams meet again in Kurunegela on Sunday.